Greater Rhea (Rhea americana) from outside Pailon, Bolivia. August 2010.
The other day I saw a pair of Rheas hanging out across to road from my house. I carefully approached them and they let me get surprisingly close for a great series of photos. Then I got too close and this one threw up its wing and took off with incredible speed for such a large, awkward looking bird. I see these fairly frequently around Bolivia but this was my first chance to get up close.
Rheas are large, flightless, South American relatives of the Ostrich (Ratite family). They can grow to be over 5 feet tall and weigh over 70 pounds. The males do most of the hatching and care of chicks from various females in his harem. Males will aggressively defend their nests and territories which is why I was very cautious approaching these birds.
Spotlight Feature In:
All Things In The Natural World
Nature Photography Challenge
Amazing Challenge Entertainment
Where on Earth is This?
The Wonder of Wings
The Tropical Zone
Nature In Its Entirety-NOTHING MAN MADE- 2 per day